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Requisitions and pay Revamp
Corporate budgets and player corruption

So corporate players seem to complain a lot about lacking funds, or even that mixers who engage in criminal activity can safely have more money than them. This post is a proposed design to fix that issue.

The first thing would be, this would take the requisitions terminal and move it from something commonly used, into something used for purely rare items and importing goods not typically found in Withmore. This would allow GM's to focus less on vetting requisitions terminal requests and more on running plots.

But wait, what would the humble package man in requisitions room do at that point?

Two words, budget management.

In explanation, there's a concept from real life called discretionary business funds. I would implement a system like this with each department having an overhead budget that is then split between everyone underneath that department, with requisitions being able to maneuver and influence it largely department to department or slightly individual to individual, and in general give the obvious opportunity for corruption and foul play inherent in a system like this.

The idea is simple, your corporation trusts you to take it's money, with discretion, and use it for your job. You would gradiate the amount from department to department based on number of players, performance, seniority of staff, and the influence of requisitions.

The exact numbers aren't important here, and would be a lever for the GM's to pick at and play with. The importance here is that this addresses 3 main concerns.

1. Corporate players struggling for money, which is unthemely.

2. Corporate Requisitions agents complaining they have nothing to do on a regular basis.

3. Creates more room and time for GM's to oversee plot, rather than researching if a requisitions or reimbursement order is justified.

Under this system your pay would become a personal reward for working for the company and your 'Funny money' essentially. And your requisitions budget/discretionary funds would be your money to spend on things related to work in some way.

+1
Investigate this kind of thing through roleplay on your own. Corporate roleplay incentivizes using roleplay to drum up things that are going to make your boss happy, you don't really need to suggest sweeping mechanical changes to make it happen.
@Nospeedy https://www.sindome.org/bgbb/open-discussion/anything-really/how-to-bgbb-1090/

I don't know if most mixers can "safely" engage in criminal activity and rack more money than corpies, those who can usually have put time into it and/or have some sort of framework (like a faction) that supports them. Even then, I would say there is always some level of risk in committing crimes in the Mix.

I am not sure how requisitions work right now, but part of what you are describing sounds a lot how reimbursements and budget codes work. You could in theory ask for a reimbursement for something you haven't spent on yet and then get the money for said item without ever having to spend money from your own pocket.

So what you are suggesting would be basically a change in institutional policy and allowing for the creation of new budgets, which wouldn't be easy but could be achieved ICly.

I thought that corpshares and corporate loans where already helping corpies have more FU money, that of course they should have. I guess this is not the case then? But getting everything from the same terminal is kind of dull. Maybe we should come up with alternative ways for them to make money?

For example, nothing is stopping corpies from renting up a gym (or an arena in space), making their own fighting league and profiting from it. The mix league was developed by a player. But basically if corpies pooled up their money, they could organize and create all sorts of business ventures. It would take some work obviously, but why don't they?

Also this is going to sound CRAZY, but imagine a world where corpies paid mixers to support their criminal activities and took a cut from the profits? Or maybe just maybe a brave corpie that threw on a disguise and went down to the mix to burglarize and murder gangers and mix shops? Wouldn't that be wild?!

So a few things...

From a personal experience, I could make more off basic automated systems that I did from both starting and even normal employee salaries. Let that sink in... a Mixer living in Hab-X doing nothing else but automated systems, likely out earns most if not all Juniors and probably a substantial amount of regular employees. That's an unemployed, no responsibility, vagrant doing "odd jobs" who is regularly clearing more than a Corpie. Both of them can RP for more income and side hustle so that should not be part of the argument. The point is that it's hard to accept that you take a substantial pay cut from living the Hab life to what's considered a "desireable job"

Corpshares help three people a quarter and loans are not a way to have FU money, it's a way to shift your earnings for a time. You still have the same amount of money, you just front load when you get it. Rich for a short period then broke.

As for starting businesses and other initiatives, all of those take GM support and time... and more importantly Game Time. I am sure whichever player started the Mix League probably took a significant amount of time to get that set up. It's really cool when it happens, but the time frame and effort mean that only a few players will ever succeed in doing something like that. Yes! More of this, but it's not realistic to expect most players to do so.

I know as a player I often have to temper my expectations on what I want to do and what I can realistically do. Resources are a big key. Sure, I want to hire joe Mixer to do something against my rival corp. But that's a few thousand here... a few thousand there... if you're a Junior, that's not happening often. If you don't have a donation pad, that's not happening very often. Not because you don't want too... just because it's simply pulling out of a very finite bucket. Corpies engaging mixers to do stuff happens, but for many of them, it's hard to finance because FU money can be hard to get.

Now... I understand that just raising salaries has game balance implications. Which is what I would expect the heart of this issue is. I like this idea as it would require some checks to what you are spending on.

Are you HR? Cool. Use your discressionary funds to organize a CPI event, or cater for a gathering. Maybe pay a mixer to get some intel on an up an coming mixer you want to recruit. The point is that you have a bigger pool of PLOT money to spend.

Are you SEC? I am sure you paying informants. Potentially hiring solos to do dirty work for you. Paying for expensive one time equipment.

In all cases, if you don't use your PLOT money for the week, it goes away and it rewards active players without just collecting a check week to week.

The thing that I like is that this idea seems to both give some additional life to a job that's a little slow as well as helping an issue without breaking game balance. Would it be fair to just triple corporate salaries? No. Of course not. But... making players justify how to use their slush funds I think would be a fantastic way of getting more PLOT money into the game as well as still letting them save for the latest Progia-22 soon in stores!

Why aren't you getting your corporation to pay for all of these "plot devices" for you?
To a certain degree, this topic has gotten a little far afield.

I do think that corporate salaries are a little low. It's not as bad as people make it out to be, but a Mixer with a bartender job makes about as much from crate running as a junior. I think it is more pronounced with some service jobs. I do think the regularly repeated IC line of "Mixers make more than juniors" feels a little anti thematic, and if we maybe doubled corporate salaries with a few more high expense items as sinks that wouldn't be the worst thing. That's probably best to be the subject of its own idea, though.

The bigger issue I see in this thread is the lack of meat to the Requistions job, especially as a junior. Junior HR, junior Sec, junior PR, they all have things to do on a weekly basis related to their job that require actual RP with other players and problems to solve related to the company and the game world that don't involve GM intervention. Requisitions doesn't have that, as far as I can see.

There are many solutions that could be coded, but code resources are hard to come by. I would suggest the following non-code policy changes:

1. No reimbursements for items will be approved on any budget code that isn't Requisitions if there is an active Requisitions officer in the company.

2. If there is an active Requisitions officer, they should make the Requisitions requests, not the target character of the Requisition.

3. Requisitions characters will be encouraged to acquire items requested of them in whatever manner is least expensive for the company.

Those three changes take no code work but mean that a Requisitions character is now engaged with every division when they need something, not just delivering crates. It also encourages underground trade with fixers and gives Requisitions characters a way to "excel" to their bosses by coming in under budget. Finally, it gives GMs an easy tool to create more RP for the division, since they can just break or "use up" some essential gear for another unit periodically if enough requests aren't flowing. Finally, by looping Reqs officers in it spreads info more through the company with possibilities for infosec issues and the RP from that.

Are corporate PC's really contributing so much to the game by merely existing that they should have their salaries doubled?

Sindome rewards hustle and exposing yourself to danger. Many of the playstyles topside avoid this and I don't think higher salaries will do anything but reinforce this idea of inaction bearing merit.

Instead, I would defer to Villa's insight here that your corporation should be funding the activities you do in its interest and assist you in generating RP while giving you the financial backing to represent your role as a cog in the corporate machine.

Well I don't want to keep derailing this too much, but there clearly is a correlation between the original idea and the topic regarding corpies not making enough money.

I've always advocated in favor of corpies making more flash and I thought things were better now. I am disappointed to hear that the corpshares system only benefits 3 people, seems like an oversight error. Even mix sporting bets systems seem less restrictive.

Anyways, I do hope the staff listens to some of these pleas so corporate players don't keep feeling disenfranchised.

To be clear, if you have the experience to crunch the numbers, a service employee for I'd actually say most but not all service positions, going from their non-corporate jobs as junior service workers where they can run crates and get their check at the end of the week to a junior corpsec or HR will earn half to two thirds as much as before. And to be clear, this is 100% crime free, 95% safe income, just tedious.

They are literally having their wages, in some cases, decreased and their extraneous income sources removed and introducing the need for expensive licenses to resume any player based side hustle while all the automatic systems that the game basically raises you on up to this point, are ripped out from under them...

From a game design standpoint, corpies either need an automated income source(Something like this threads main proposal), one that's not corpshare, which basically is an idle game that benefits only 3 of the most oocly dedicated ooc nerds tolerant of tedium and good at math at the end of a few months period. Or loans which are not an income source but rather an income deferral and drain. Or they just need a flat income adjustment of a number the GM's feel would be appropriate. Because the things they get in return for supposed privileges of being a part of a mega corporation are things that certain service mixer roles can get as well, and typically but not always, they will be earning less overall than those roles as well.

That's all beside the point of this topic though even if it is one of the root problems that it would be addressing.

Hot take, but as it stands right now a Corpie can make PLENTY money if they're willing to actually go out and try.

Personally, I'd much rather see less Corpies embezzling from automated income, not because it isn't themely, but because it's just... Boring. Automated income is boring. More Corpies should be going out of their comfort zone and actually hustling for their money, and it is a perfectly viable thing to do. A lot of them are, sadly, too scared to do it.

Not to say that it doesn't happen, it certainly does, and a lot of them are good at keeping it under wraps, or hush hush. But, yeah, I'd rather reward actual hustle for embezzling than making it easier to be sleazy via the requisitions system. That's already perfectly possible if you know what you're doing.

Just my 2chys worth, but I'd much rather see automation devalued overall. Hustle, it's far more rewarding both cash wise, and from the RP you get.

We're doing that to service corpies by design. We're recognizing their ability to continue getting unsafe incomes. :)
I'm assuming you meant Servie incomes are safe... or maybe I didn't get the post.

The only thing I was going to say is that hustle is hustle. That should not be considered in automated or passive income. Anyone can hustle and scam for chy and player effort is a large part of how much you might or might not make. Saying that Corpies can make more if they hustle doesn't address the inequity and theme issue that Corpies in general make significantly less than anyone else.

However, in theme, Corpies should have money to burn.

Money drives plots. Nearly by nature Corpies have to spend more than Mixers to do the same things. I want to get a favor, not only am I paying for the favor, but I'm dropping a stack here and there to set up arrangements to talk, or a little extra to keep quiet. I overpay for things because I'm expected too. Do I haggle with a fixer to get something? Nope. Sure I know I could, but that's not theme.

So as a Corpie, you often spend more. You are expected to spend to drive plots. You really SHOULD make more, but if that can't be done, then a system to help you access chy to drive plots should be in place. It's expected, it's theme, and it drives interactions.

Whilst I agree with the sentiment that it's themely for corpies to have money to burn, you already see people expressing that they think corpies are too safe. Because... They are.

Which makes this just a case of theme vs balance.

Going corpie means losing a lot of freedom to operate in the mix, and all the sources of income that come with that (which are considerable), and having a lot more personal responsibility. You have to dress well, mind your public conduct, The trade-off is that you die considerably less. And that also influences how much money you have, because you don't lose it nearly as often, but at the same time, you're spending it more.

Going mixer means having less automated money, more 'ambient' danger and... That's about it. In return, you have more freedom in general, a lot more income options, and it's much easier for a mixer to interact with the corpie world than vice versa. Even living for free (even in relative safety) is very easy if you dig around a little, for a mixer.

So in my estimate, the balance is a little skewed, but I guess it depends on how valuable you think personal safety is.

But I also don't really care about balance, and I'm more than happy for one group/faction/archetype to be considerably more powerful than the others.

Why? Because that would drive conflict and plot. I always find it funny to ask people why they hate corpies or mixers, because a lot of them stumble around and just give non-answers. They hate them because they feel like they should, which is less than desirable.

The game itself should give players very real reasons for the two sides to hate each other, instead of just having this... Banter on SIC that feels forced a lot of the time.

So yeah, I like the idea and just a general increase to corpie income, but I've always felt the majority feeling in the game is 'the two sides should be balanced, theme is secondary'. No one seems to want the Mix to be the hellhole it's described as. No one wants corporates to be power hungry maniacs stepping on everyone on their way to the top. They want equal grounds and balance, which is the killer of identity and theme.

I just see it as so much of the game already being incredibly unfair and hardcore, that this stance on safety/balance is really out of character, but there you go.

Possible unpopular opinion. Being a "poor" Corpie as a Junior is absolutely themely. You're struggling to keep up with the Joneses, struggling to hustle, struggling to make a name for yourself amongst the sea of fungible cheap-suits. You are the bottom of the corporate food chain. The struggle is real, and it can be fun.

Regardless of your level, corpies should ideally be burning money for the sake of plot and RP, even if it hurts to look at the numbers in bank accounts from an ooc perspective.

I've never played a corporate, so I can't comment on their income, but Staff has repeatedly said that nothing is stopping Corporate players from coming down and getting in on the sweet ganger chy that everyone is murdering each other to death for in the mix. Unless there's been a huge change, that means Corporate citizens have access to MORE money with higher standard paid jobs and this same hustle. If this has actually happened please ignore this point.

The tradeoff is that you might get merc'ed for coming down. Which is what mixers are always dealing with. The heavy safety of topside is another big "pay bonus" which isn't factored in enough in these conversations. Being able to do biz with a judge ten yards from you at all times is nothing to scoff at.

Juniors getting the shaft is pretty themely in my opinion. As someone else said, "keeping up with the joneses" is very real for these kinds of people. Always trying to live above their income. Perhaps *gasp* they may even engage in embezzlement or some other nefarious purpose to maintain that image? All while trying to stay desperately squeaky clean and somehow afford to buy their boss that tenth Martini? I'd wager that a lot of corporate players have been juniors at some point too, so they'll throw RP your way in this area.

Juniors being poor is cool, though pay does not go up very much as a regular employee.

I'm not convinced that corporate character are paid too little, though I do think that a membership is basically required to be a corporate character. I think there might be some benefits to paying corporate characters more, but I don't know that I'd want to do it as a straight salary increase. I'd want to do it in some kind of RP-encouraging fashion.

I do think that the Requisitions role is not well situated and could use some more to do.

Yeah, you really do NEED Membership to be live topside. Otherwise, 80% of your wages go to rent. You could get a roommate, but then that'd just be 40% of your wages instead.

Want to live anywhere that's not the usual 3? Gonna need to somehow get 70k a week from somewhere. If you're not a member don't even bother living there, even as an exec.

I really like the original idea of this thread, using RP to convince your requisitions to favor your budget proposal. That said, I do think having some sort of option to give corpies more budget to run plots would be great. Sure you can do other activities, but in the end you end up spending your time on schemes and not driving plot relevant to character motives. At the same time the trick is making sure somehow it's rewarded to the individuals who need that plot money and aren't just sitting around letting it build up. Keep in mind, not all corpies have their secret plots run around corporate agendas. There are plenty who fight the system behind the scenes, and from what I've seen they are not often given the same resources to compete. It can take the 'punk' out of cyberpunk.
@floored

Slumming in the mix as a corporate isn't doable not because you might get swarmed. It's because you you're risking your rep and your job. That's why a lot of corporates don't do it unless they're big enough to get away with it if they're caught. One of the most common reasons for corpies 'falling' is doing stuff like that and getting caught.

On another note, juniors should struggle, yes. Compared to full corporates, not mixers. Juniors struggle to make rent, which is more or less unheard of in the mix.

As a Mixer I find the game largely unplayable from a frustration perspective if I am not a member and getting a decent apartment through the membership perk so I am not paying 50-75% of my income toward rent.

It's the only way I feel stress-free enough saving money toward goals, plots, and gear to help me on the way.

Seems like testimony paints a pretty consistent experience for topside, and I think that's okay if it's consistent. Encouraging memberships is required if the game needs a fair sum of money to cover operating costs so I am okay with it.

I'm not sure if Requisitions needs additional duties. It feels more like an "intro to corporate life" position for characters that haven't found a job to move on to. It lets characters get their feet wet to see if they'd like to move up. Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I didn't think it was a job anyone is meant to stay at.

@BlazingCoconut

Nearly by nature Corpies have to spend more than Mixers to do the same things. I want to get a favor, not only am I paying for the favor, but I'm dropping a stack here and there to set up arrangements to talk, or a little extra to keep quiet. I overpay for things because I'm expected too.

This may sound like a broken record, but I'd recommend finding a mentor. It sounds like you might be overpaying.

@floored

I've never played a corporate, so I can't comment on their income, but Staff has repeatedly said that nothing is stopping Corporate players from coming down and getting in on the sweet ganger chy that everyone is murdering each other to death for in the mix.

While this is true, one of the unspoken advantages of playing corpie is being given large sums of money to effectively spend on running plots to give other people RP. Sure, you could go down and do it yourself, but you'd be generating a lot more RP if you contracted out your work. With enough planning, you can have what effectively turns into a Rube Goldberg machine of interconnected plots. You become a cash cow giving RP to a sizable portion of the playerbase while getting rich in the process. And you're encouraged to do so by being in one of the most safest locations in all of the dome, with preferential treatment by the in-game oppressors. The reward is feeling like a mini-GM, making player-run plots for everyone who wants to be a rat, which then cascade further down into the non-rats. It's like trickle-down theory except it works.

There are many styles of corporate play. The job you choose effectively gives you the range of plots you can pick from. And it feels like your salary is determined by a few things, like your freedom to run plots (fewer opportunities = more salary), the OOC effort overhead required (more OOC work = more salary), and seniority (more dedication = more salary).

I could be wrong on everything, though. This is just how I feel.

Maybe a "corporate play" workshop would be an appropriate workshop for Celestial to run. :)

@alittlelonger

There are many styles of corporate play. The job you choose effectively gives you the range of plots you can pick from.

In my opinion, a corporate character's job shouldn't limit the range of plots open to them. There's nothing stopping a Junior Requisitions Agent from buying data, keeping tabs on mixers, and exploiting them. And a Security Agent could organize and host a music event in the park. A pilot could make useful NPC contacts. There may be some personal conflicts to resolve and permissions to get, but it's not insurmountable.

If corporate characters feel restricted and pigeon-holed into their roles, it's more likely that is the result of their PC managers enforcing those restrictions. Not NPCs.

A corpie's job determines the minimum expectations of them, but the individual can go above and beyond in any direction, so long as it benefits the company.

------------

My quick opinion on pay: I don't think base corpie pay should be increased. It's true that juniors don't get much pay, and a membership is virtually required if you want to build a savings. However, as others have said, corpies accumulate money because their savings aren't being drained.

Mixers can make more money per week, but if you're a corpie and you're not dying, then you're not buying new cyberware, new clothes, new gear, and the various expenses that go into being a battle-ready mixer. Over months, the chyen builds up.

The systems for making extra money as a corpie, through hustle, seem to be there. That's what should be encouraged. Not passive stacking of larger paychecks.

The systems for making extra money as a corpie, through hustle, seem to be there. That's what should be encouraged. Not passive stacking of larger paychecks.

I agree with a few sentiments, but this statement right here, is what I feel is universal in Sindome. If you are plotting, involving others, and distributing wealth rather than hoarding it... my experience is that the chy will be there.

Right. There are tons of things that are not "fair" in this game.

Yes, survival as a corpie is easier, but they are also expected to rain money downward. At the least they should be making more than someone who is unemployed, living topside with nearly the same minimal risk. If you are allowed to make X in the hab on low risk automated systems, then you should really be fine with X+Y for people who actually have what are considered to be desirable jobs.

I know someone suggested to me to find a tutor on how to not spend so much, it's not needing to learn how to spend less, it's theme to not quibble about a stack here or there. If you want Corpies to play to theme, you really need them to be able to act like it. Hard to have sympathy for downtrodden mixers when you can barely make rent. I watch Mixers who are "Posh and Bespoke" all the time walk by Juniors and normal corpies using their Prog-7s. It's just not... themely.

Bumping Blazingcoconut's post because it resonated with me. Might make a specific thread to discuss this, but...

It is very off-theme and it bleeds IC. You see a lot of mixers talk down to corpies about how much they make because it's true. In all my time playing, the general idea is that it's simply not worth interacting/working for corpies as a mixer because they won't pay you that well, and if word gets out, you'll probably lose more in clone fees, gear and rep.

And I'm not talking about juniors. I've seen plenty of people brush aside full, well established corpies plenty of times because the whole idea of big, evil corps watching your every move and being terrifying to mess with... Simply doesn't apply. Those big corpies are spending money much more frequently on cars, clothes, events and data, and more of it, and then they're also expected to pay more for work. It just doesn't work.

In my experience, the 'you have ways to get money outside of your job pay' answer is either outdated, or coming from someone that has one of the two coded income skills and a lot of energy to focus to the game in a very specific task.

My experience with requisitions/reimbursements boils down to 'if your character's job doesn't codedly require this item, you will not get it, and you will probably be ICly scolded for asking.'

Reqs/Reimbursements require GM time, so I'm not sure it's a good solution, but I think finding creative ways to ask for stuff and even tangentially linking it to your job should be more encouraged. For example, if your character a journalist? Well, you have to have lots of clothes for interviewing people, so it shouldn't be automatically dismissed if you requisition an extra wardrobe. An HR representative? Maybe you want to 'check into a job candidates grid presence', so you requisition a top of the line liteterm. Heck, just promoted to senior? Maybe the company sees fit to give you a company car (yes, I am aware there's an IC job that somewhat touches on this, but I believe that role should be focused elsewhere...)

Hard Chy salary increases are good though, because they require less GM attention. It's all about finding a balance.

This is a hard +1 from me. I think Red just nailed my exact thoughts.